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Strawbs/Dave Cousins Appreciation Thread!

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Squonk19 View Drop Down
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 00:08
^ Good points made. I also like 'Dragonfly' and often play it after the 'first' album. Mellow is a good description and as ever there are some strong songs. The ultimate compilation is still waiting to be made - if you could merge 'Selection' with 'Halcyon Days' - you are starting to get there (although I will confess that I quite like 'To Be Free' from 'Nomadness' for its amusing wordplay and enthusiasm which always brings a smile to my face). Dave Cousins brought out a free compilation of songs via the UK's Classic Rock Society and its Wonderous Stories magazine in Rotherham in the early 90s which had some interesting inclusions. From the 1980 concert (I found my old ticket, which is why I remember the date!) I know they played the title track to 'Heartbreak Hill' and said it was coming out fairly soon - but not sure what else they played. I know it impressed me at the time.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 04:22
Being a sound engineer, I found Old School Songs too lo fi for my tastes and Willoughby uninspired, but I did like the acoustic version of "The Battle". I believe that I only listened to the album once or twice many years ago and did a PA review from memory as I didn't really want to listen to it again. LOL
 
I got the review 90% right but I'll never do that again as I learned that it can get you into big trouble! LOL


Edited by SteveG - January 12 2018 at 04:32
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 07:35
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

Being a sound engineer, I found Old School Songs too lo fi for my tastes and Willoughby uninspired, but I did like the acoustic version of "The Battle". I believe that I only listened to the album once or twice many years ago and did a PA review from memory as I didn't really want to listen to it again. LOL
 
I got the review 90% right but I'll never do that again as I learned that it can get you into big trouble! LOL

I had never even heard of Willoughby before that album and he immediately amazed me with his skill and style, especially on Grace Darling, The Battle, Hanging in the Gallery and Lay Down.  But yes it's lo fi especially the live side
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 10:51
I first came across Willoughby in some 80's reincarnation of the Strawbs that featured Cousins, a returning Tony Hooper, and if I'm not mistaken, Richard Hudson. Willoughby was stellar. When I came across the Old School Songs album I was, frankly, perplexed.
 
But I've seen him since and he continues to be stellar, both with Craig and on his solo instrumental albums.


Edited by SteveG - January 12 2018 at 10:52
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 11:26
Lots of interesting talk about this Willoughby dude.

I must admit that I'm pretty unfamiliar with his playing as I own close to nothing between Deep Cuts and The Broken-Hearted Bride. He's on the sublime Baroque & Roll album, which I own, but it's sometimes hard to tell who plays what on that one. Time to investigate further.


I'm planning to get the live 'Lay Down with the Strawbs' eventually. Any impressions about it, guys?


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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 11:35
I'm sure we're building him up to be more than he really is! But he's very, very good.
 
When I saw the acoustic tour with both Lambert and Willoughby, Lambert played his lead parts on Ghosts while Willoughby played the song's core melodies (Hawken's keyboard parts) before entwining for a bit here and there.
 
Willoughby played the tricky Tears and Pavan parts. And that's all I can remember! Rats.


Edited by SteveG - January 12 2018 at 11:36
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 12:27
Originally posted by SteveG SteveG wrote:

I first came across Willoughby in some 80's reincarnation of the Strawbs that featured Cousins, a returning Tony Hooper, and if I'm not mistaken, Richard Hudson. Willoughby was stellar. When I came across the Old School Songs album I was, frankly, perplexed.
 
But I've seen him since and he continues to be stellar, both with Craig and on his solo instrumental albums.

time to listen to old school songs again perhaps?  There are only a few samples on youtube but here goes





I can't seem to find any of his lead guitar skills, as they were from the less known and distributed albums

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 12:28
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

Lots of interesting talk about this Willoughby dude.

I must admit that I'm pretty unfamiliar with his playing as I own close to nothing between Deep Cuts and The Broken-Hearted Bride. He's on the sublime Baroque & Roll album, which I own, but it's sometimes hard to tell who plays what on that one. Time to investigate further.


I'm planning to get the live 'Lay Down with the Strawbs' eventually. Any impressions about it, guys?



I don't listen much to their live albums, but I heard sounded good. Certainly the material is taken from a wide sample of eras of the group
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 12:45
^^ aaah, nice. Grace Darling, what a fine song.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 12:53
Originally posted by Barbu Barbu wrote:

I'm planning to get the live 'Lay Down with the Strawbs' eventually. Any impressions about it, guys?


It's a very good 2000's era live album with John Hawken back in the group. I think that Live at Nearfest 2004 with Hawken is better as the group was really on fire, but Lay Down with the Strawbs is a very close second.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 13:09
^ Parfait, thanks. Nearfest is indeed excellent and will have to get that one too.

and it looks like I'll have that Grace Darling tune stuck in my head for the next couple of days.

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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Barbu Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 13:37
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 12 2018 at 16:51
Really pleased 'Grace Darling' is getting some good feedback - the acoustic version on ' Old School Songs' has remained the definitive version for me - simple, endearing and heart-felt, although, as I say, the choir version has a different charm to it, too. Lo-Fi indeed on the live tracks - but in some respect that is where the charm lies too!

Brian Willoughby live with Dave and the Strawbs was always very special and it was live that his true talents shone. Nice to see this band get a good thread on PA - with contributors who clearly know their stuff! Keep it up, folks!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote SteveG Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 13 2018 at 03:31
Originally posted by Squonk19 Squonk19 wrote:

Really pleased 'Grace Darling' is getting some good feedback - the acoustic version on ' Old School Songs' has remained the definitive version for me - simple, endearing and heart-felt, although, as I say, the choir version has a different charm to it, too. Lo-Fi indeed on the live tracks - but in some respect that is where the charm lies too!

Brian Willoughby live with Dave and the Strawbs was always very special and it was live that his true talents shone. Nice to see this band get a good thread on PA - with contributors who clearly know their stuff! Keep it up, folks!
Very good points! Willoughby definitely comes off better live, for some strange reason, and I've always preferred the many stripped down versions of Grace Darling to the church organ/choir version found on Ghosts, as the lyrics are absolutely beautiful and uplifting! One of Cousins' best songs and that's really saying something!
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote Squonk19 Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2018 at 16:20
Just listened to the version of 'Grace Darling' on the 'Greatest Hits Live' album that's been hiding in cassette form in my old cupboard for a few years. Rather good! Starts fairly acoustically, but very much extended with some excellent electric guitar and band work towards the end. A pleasant surprise! Recorded in 1990 and Mr Willoughby spreading his magic again, it seems. Chris Parren on keyboards doing a reasonable job too.
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Post Options Post Options   Thanks (0) Thanks(0)   Quote kenethlevine Quote  Post ReplyReply Direct Link To This Post Posted: January 14 2018 at 21:23
^yeah that's a good one.  I like all versions of the song.  But my soft spot will always be the original on "ghosts".  The way they ended this album with two marvelous ballads still stops me in my tracks.  I mean who would do that?  And the end of "you and I" with the keys of Hawken blends in perfectly with the faint choral start of Grace Darling.

Edited by kenethlevine - January 14 2018 at 21:23
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